I for one enjoyed the movie “Independence Day”, and one of my favorite little moments was at the beginning of the movie when the dude at CETI is listening to that great old REM song while the big, ominous alien mother ship is heading toward earth orbit. Awesome! I wonder what song some person at CETI will be listening to when a real alien mothership comes gliding into earth orbit. But since there has been a lot of talking about the subject of the impending end of the world, let’s get serious and take a look at the issue from one twisted old bugger’s perspective.
There are a lot of theories out there concerning December 21st of this year and they all tie in to the predictions of the Mayas. Now some of these theories are pure and unadulterated crap – like that TV commercial from the financial planner company where they make the statement that on December 21st the earth’s gravity will reverse and we’ll all go flying off into space (they didn’t even try to understand what the predictions say). The most common misconception about December 21st is that the world will end or otherwise be destroyed on that date. This misperception is not only wrong, but it is freaking a lot of people out unnecessarily. Last year when the tsunami from Japan hit the American West Coast and did considerable damage to a number of smaller ports from Washington to California, a young woman working at the convenience store that I’d stopped at asked me what it meant and if the world was really going to end on December 21, 2012. This poor woman, who had two small children that I knew of, had such a look of terror in her eyes. I calmed her down as best as I could and told her that no, the world is not going to end this December, and she seemed to feel a bit better. But her terror was real, her fear was coming off of her in waves that even I could feel. Since that incident, and especially as we have actually gotten into the dreaded year 2012, I’ve heard first hand accounts of people fearing that date, prudent folks stocking up on water and batteries and canned goods – and ammunition – in anticipation of the end of the world. News reports are increasingly covering stories where people are heading for the hills. (Well, not the Cascades really, since they’re a chain of dormant to semi-active volcanoes and likely to be nasty neighbors in any end of the world scenario.) I’ve noticed a lot of beachfront property in tsunami zones have gone on the market but aren’t moving. Sales of books on the subject are rising faster than the price of gasoline. People are either scared or, in some cases, in a state of bliss because they see that feared date as the beginning of some kind of New Age of spiritual enlightenment, like a modern Age of Aquarius type of thing, when the benevolent space aliens are going to come down and save humanity from its own short-sightedness (more on THAT subject another day, my friends). And a lot of people figure that it’s going to be the end of the human race in some kind of extinction level event, so they’re “partying like it’s 1999”, or something to that effect. And, of course, there is that wonderfully self-assured segment of society who don’t believe in gods or aliens or global calamities and are still conducting their lives, maintaining their personal status quo. Nobody knows what’s right or who has the straight scoop. Let me tell you, the closer that we get to December 21st the worse this is going to get.
So… What did the Mayas really say about this date? What can we expect on December 21st? Perhaps more importantly, has anyone else through history prophesied the same thing, and what did they have to say? Let’s take a look. I should warn you, I’ve been studying this general subject for forty years and could indeed write a very erudite piece on this subject, filled with references and arguing points and all of that other stuff that academia loves, but then most of you will lose interest (if you haven’t already) and then I’d just be one more academic that no one bothers to listen to. I’m going to keep this short and sweet and devoid of the $25.00 words that academics love, and I’ll give you just enough references so that you can look into it further if you like. And I hope that you do, because I’m a firm believer in testing everything and taking nobody’s word for granted.
Okay, back to the Mayas and what they really said. In two writings that survived the destructiveness of the pious Conquistadors, the Popul Vuh and the Chilam Balam, the Mayas predicted that the current age of the world will end on December 21st. (The Mayas and their proteges the Aztecs, believed that the world had so far endured four separate ages, each lasting several thousand years and ending in great cataclysms that mere handfuls of people survived, kinda like the Great Flood of the Bible and other peoples, including the Mayas.) Our fifth age, according to the Mayas, will end in a great deal of burning and earthquakes and volcanoes and meteors, you know, pleasant stuff like that. Now I’ve heard several scholarly types arguing that it won’t be December 21st, 2012 because that date is taken from a calendar devised by Julius Caesar and his people and not introduced to the Mayas until the 1500s when the Spanish brought it to the New World. There’s just one problem to that theory – the Mayan calendar was tied inextricably to the sunspot cycles of our own sun, which the Mayas had calculated quite accurately. (They also had extremely accurate tables calculating both the lunar cycles and the cycles of Venus, but the important one to them was the solar cycle.) The Mayas correctly calculated the sunspot cycle at 11.1 years and full sunspot cycle at 187 years, but they took it a bit further and came to an understanding that the sun’s rotation is not even like the earth’s is. Since the earth has a rocky crust, our rate of rotation is the same at the equator as at the poles, but since the sun is a ball of burning gas that’s not the case, for the sun’s rotation at the equator is 26 earth days but at the poles it is 37 earth days. In short, the sun’s magnetic field, which causes sunspots, gets twisted around like spaghetti spun around a fork, and it takes 18,139 years for THAT cycle to come full circle. (I promise, this is as technical as I’m going to get in this post!) So the Mayas have their calendar coordinated to the complete solar cycle of 18,139 years, which in my book was one hell of an accomplishment! So the date of December 21st, 2012 was not some date some long-dead Maya pulled out of his feathered hat, but happens to be the date when the Mayan calendar resets AND when the sun begins a whole new long cycle. It also happens to be date that the earth and our solar system cross the center of the Dark Rift, which is what the dark streak through the Milky Way is called, and that seems to be a harbinger of doom to the Mayas. Whew! I hope this wasn’t a bit much (the full explanation of the Mayan calendar’s relation to the sunspot cycles usually takes two or three chapters in some of the books that I’ve read, so I really did give you the short version), but some understanding of this is necessary to the problem at hand, which what in tarnation’s going to happen on December 21st.
The relevance of the entire preceding paragraph is that when the sun starts its cycles over again, because its magnetic field is so convoluted it ends up reversing its magnetic polarity, meaning north becomes south and south becomes north – magnetically. Now astronomy has shown that our solar system is actually one big vibrant biosphere of sorts instead of just a bunch of individual rocks and stuff, and the earth with its magnetic field exists within the sun’s much larger magnetic field, so logic would dictate that if the bigger magnetic field changes polarity then the smaller, weaker one should, too. Guess what? Geologists have shown that the earth’s magnetic field has reversed polarity numerous times in the past. So by now, if you haven’t fallen asleep or gone to youtube or something, your are probably beginning to smell what I’m stepping in – what’s going to happen this December is that the polarity of the Earth’s magnetic field is going to reverse and all of our compasses will start pointing south instead of north.
So what, you may say at this point. What’s the big deal? Well… For starters, I would expect that such a change will play hell with everything from telecommunications to GPS to the electrical grid. I don’t think it will do much to smaller, self-contained electrical systems like cars or portable radios, but then, I’m not an electrical engineer so I don’t really know. So at the very least we will be faced with most of society grinding to at least a temporary halt. But what concerns me is what a reversal of our magnetic field will do to the earth’s crust, and I think that this presents the bigger danger. Most of us probably played around with small magnets when we were kids or did experiments in school and saw that like poles on a magnet push each other away while opposing poles attracted. There’s a lot of rock in geologically sensitive areas that will suddenly be in the wrong magnetic alignment and will try to move to readjust. So I would expect that we will have a lot of earthquakes – probably big ones – and an increase of volcanic activity. If you live in California, you just may want to move…
Now if this part is starting to sound kind of familiar it’s because we are now coming to the final point I wanted to make, which is if anyone else predicted stuff like this. It’s probably easier to say “who didn’t”. Nearly all of the Native American tribes have lore that speaks of a time of great catastrophes followed by a renewal of the earth. Nostradamus wrote extensively about horrible catastrophes and wars in the latter days, but that there would come a time of peace afterwards. The Mayas themselves wrote that after the cataclysms to come there would begin a new age of peace. Edgar Cayce saw it happening this way. Mother Shipton, who wrote her prophecies around 1600 in northern England, foresaw great upheavals followed by an age of blissful peace. And all three of the monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – predict a violent, cataclysmic end of the age followed by a new age of peace.
“…And I feel fine…”
REM said it right after all. Yes, the December 21st will – I’m convinced – be the start of the upheavals in the earth and in society that will bring the current age to its close, but I fully expect that after a couple of short years of upheaval we shall begin the sixth age of this world, and those of us who survive – by whatever method, prudence, location or divine intervention – will find ourselves moving forward into a new era where the baggage we’ve accumulated over the past 10,000 years will be nothing but history and scary stories to tell our children. I fully believe that December 21st will be the beginning of the birth pangs that will push humanity into a better world.
Whew! I hope that you made it to the end, my friend. Let me know what you think. I’m looking forward to hearing from you…
Further reading: I highly recommend the book The Mayan Prophecies, by Adrian G. Gilbert & Maurice M. Cotterell (USA publisher Element Books, Inc., PO Box 830, Rockport, MA 01966; 1995) which features one of the most coherent and detailed descriptions of the Mayan calendar and its astronomical connections that I’ve ever read; The Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus, Translated, Edited and Interpreted by Henry C. Roberts (Stratford Press, Inc., NYC; 1982) which is an excellent for studying Nostradamus; Edgar Cayce – The Sleeping Prophet by Jess Stearn (Doubleday and Company, Inc., NYC; 1967) which is still perhaps the best biography of Cayce and overview of his prophecies; the Popul Vuh and the Chilam Balam, both available online; Mother Shipton’s Prophecies, available online at Crystalinks; and the Holy Bible, particularly Isaiah Chapters 50-66 and the Book of the Revelation.